Star Fox 64 3DS E3 2011 Hands-On PreviewBy Jake Gaskill - Posted Jun 20, 2011
The moment I pulled off my first back flip reversal to get the drop on an enemy that I had carelessly overflown during my hands-on time with Star Fox 64 3DS at E3 2011, I was instantly transported to my childhood bedroom where a much younger version of myself used to sit cross-legged for hours at a time playing the original Star Fox 64. Needless to say, finally getting my hands on the game after all these years was one of the highlights of this year’s E3, helped along by the fact that the 3DS remastering of this classic flight shooter plays exactly like you’d hope it would, and it works beautifully in 3D.
My hands-on time was limited to a small section of the opening level of the game, and thanks to the improved graphics and addition of 3D support, it looked both strikingly familiar yet entirely new. The textures and frame rate stayed smooth and consistent throughout the demo, and the environments and enemies popped off the screen, even when flying by at high speeds. The controls were even more responsive than I remembered them being in the original. After just a few seconds, I was dodging and weaving around obstacles, peppering enemies with laser fire and locking on towers and releasing rocket strikes just like the good old days. I stuck with the classic analog stick controls, but the 3DS supports tilt controls as well for that added sense of actually piloting your ship.
Multiplayer was always a favorite in the original game, and while Star Fox 64 3D does bring back the joys of player-vs-player dog fighting, you’ll only be doing so locally as the game doesn’t support Wi-Fi multiplayer. It does however support download play, which means three players can play even if only player has the game. One of the other cool additions to multiplayer is that players are able to use the 3DS’s camera and microphone to put their faces and voices into the game, which is especially enjoyable for fans of the original game who remember watching Fox, Falco, Slippy, or any of the other colorful cast of characters appear in those talking head boxes for hours on end. Now, you and your friends can appear in those nostalgia-inducing boxes while you try and blast each other out of the sky.
The only other 3DS title I’ve spent significant time with has been Pilotwings Resort, which wasn’t much of a game, but it did show of the 3D potential for flight-based games, and with Star Fox, that potential appears to be being realized. The action is fast and smooth, and the 3D isn’t nearly as nauseating as you’d expect, which is always appreciated. Of course, I’m not sure if that will be the case after a few hours of playing, but from what I played, it felt like it should hold up to lengthy sessions.
Nintendo does youth-era heartstring tugging like no one else, and Star Fox 64 3DS is shaping up to be yet another solid example of this tried and true tactic. And if The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is any indication, 3DS owners looking for some remastered retro fun will be in for a real treat when the game ships in September.